The Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012 – 2022: Taking Stock. Progress in achieving goals in youth justice in the ACT over the past six years and identifying focus areas for improvement to achieve better outcomes for children and young people.

Ms Jodie Robinson1, Dr Sarah Anderson1

1Community Services Directorate, Canberra, Australia

The Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012-2022 (the Blueprint) provides the strategic direction for youth justice in the ACT to achieve the ACT Government’s priorities for ‘more support for families and inclusion’, and ‘better protection for our children and young people’. The Blueprint’s approach focuses on keeping young people out of the youth justice system to create a safer and more inclusive community and prevent a lifetime of offending.

At the six-year mark, achievements made under the Blueprint demonstrate success in its approach. Since 2011-12, the number of young people involved in the youth justice system has significantly reduced and, for most of this period, fewer young people have been held in detention. These achievements affirm the Blueprint’s focus on prevention, diversion and individualised support as sound policy and practice.

At this mid-way point of the 10 year strategic reform, this presentation will include data for key indicators that measure progress against the Blueprint’s goals.

The presentation will also provide an overview of the recommended ten focus areas to drive work or to be considered for further or future action to address continuing and emerging challenges in the ACT youth justice system. The focus areas reflect a ‘continuum of support’ that promotes an integrated service system response to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. The focus areas identify existing initiatives to be continued and enhanced, as well as new initiatives to be considered and explored.


Biography:

Jodie Robinson in the Senior Director – Practice and Performance of Child and Youth Protection Services in the ACT’s Community Services Directorate.  In this role she is responsible for the provision of all supporting functions needed to ensure best practice in child protection and youth justice, and in order to provide effective therapeutic responses to meet the needs of clients. Throughout her career, Jodie has undertaken roles across Human Services in policy, program design, service delivery and executive and ministerial support. Areas of current focus include the implementation of A Step Up for Our Kids, the ACT’s five year Out of Home Care reform and continued service improvement at Bimberi Youth Justice Centre, Australia’s first human rights compliant youth justice centre.

Sarah Anderson is Senior Manager of the Human Services Policy team in the ACT Government Community Services Directorate. Her work encompasses policy and legislative matters relating to children, young people and families, including leading the ACT’s participation to implement the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.  Sarah has led work on the Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012-2022, the ACT’s strategy for youth justice reform, since its inception. Sarah’s team also leads work within the Directorate to implement recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including the National Redress Scheme.

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